One afternoon in the autumn of 2010 while weather-bound by a south-easterly F11 in Bangor, Northern Island; I found myself standing in the HM Coast Guard control room at Bregenz House.
I had been invited upstairs to discuss a possible weather window for heading up towards Oban. Basking in the relative luxury of centrally heated offices with a panoramic view over the wind torn marina it dawned on me that I was on the wrong end of the sailing industry but with a schedule to keep for our Round the UK trip; getting cold, wet and battered by strong winds seemed unavoidable.
Since that afternoon I’ve enjoyed sailing more than 20,000NM professionally and for pleasure, but during graveyard watches, while alone in the dark, my mind has often wandered back to that day and coveted the comfort in which those maritime professionals worked.
In 2013 I was offered the opportunity to work with the Royal Western Yacht Club in Plymouth as part of their Race Committee for the Original Single-handed Trans-Atlantic Race (OSTAR). It was through this experience that I first had direct dealings with YB Tracking. Our race would, like many others, be using the YB Tracking service to monitor and spectate the Corinthian battle in the North Atlantic. As a customer, I received incredible technical support from the YB team and was able to extend the product knowledge-base to the rest of the committee and to our competitors painlessly.
Just over one year later and I find myself sat, in relative comfort, in the offices of YB Tracking – as their newest team member. It gives me great pleasure to be part of the team providing such a vital service to races and events internationally. From ocean racing yachts, braving the Furious 40s in the Southern Ocean to adventure racers in the jungles of Ecuador, YB Trackers give event organisers, fans, friends and families of those willing to suffer the elements an effective and reliable means to keep an eye on developments where the faint-of-heart dare not to venture.
In my first two weeks here at YB Tracking I’ve quickly discovered there’s an awful lot more to tracking races than I could have previously imagined. In the next weeks and months I will be writing a series of blog entries exploring the YB operation and giving you a glimpse into what we do.
Stay tuned for the next instalment.